The Rock

The rock is round and large, and full of holes. Deep sort of holes, almost like little caverns. He drilled them himself, by hand, over a long period of time, during the little breaks that he managed to carve out along the way.

All sorts of things can be put in there, in those burrows. At first, candles; then colorful lights that turned the large rock into a kind of giant disco ball. This time he planned to insert special, thin tubes of paint.

He stopped shortly before the summit, balanced the rock on a large stone he’d found along the way, and took out the tubes of paint. He opened them gently and then threaded them, one by one, into the many fissures in the rock.

Finally, he took a deep breath, moved the stone out of the way, and continued pushing the rock uphill, straining his muscles and curious to see how it would look this time around.

At the peak, he released it, almost intentionally, and it started to roll downhill. The paint in the tubes was thinned just enough to spray spectacularly in every direction. By the light of the setting sun he stood there and gleefully watched the display. Red, green, blue, pink: the colors gushed out, rising up into the air as the rock tumbled down, skipping, and painting the entire path in a chromatic chaos, a colorful stream bounding down the hill.

He broke into great laughter, threw his hands wide, and ran down the hill following the path of the rock, eyes glued to the ball of color, gushing, tumbling, the life-filled ball of sunshine galloping down the mountain and spraying rainbows of gay color every which way, transforming the mountainside into a great jamboree.

When the rock reached the bottom of the slope and stopped, it looked like a psychedelic toy, a plaything used by the gods when they got home from kindergarten. He reached it, out of breath, and noticed that the sun was already touching the horizon. Another day done.

Sisyphus stretched a bit, placed his hands on the still-dripping paint, and started pushing the rock back up the hill.

By the time he made it to the summit, it would surely be night. He smiled, struggling to contain himself. This time he’d stuff firecrackers into the holes. This would be amazing!


This story is part of the show Piano Stories – short stories inspired by piano pieces.

It was written for Frédéric Chopin – Etude Op.25/2 in F minor

Watch this video on YouTube.